🙅 Screw The Taboos Meetup #2

Swapnil Agarwal
Jan 14, 2020 · 4 min read

Let’s start with 100 kisses!

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Wait, what!?
This time, we had a surprise in store for the attendees - a face yoga workshop facilitated by a certified yoga instructor. There was a lot of pouting involved. Sure, the attendees became awkward but that was the aim of this ice-breaking session.

If we can make weird faces together, we can talk about anything!

Continuing the tradition of sharing our favorite songs, here’s the list:

If you have a Spotify account, you can also follow the playlist.

It was time to start! I explained the (Chatham) house rules that we follow - basically you can talk about what’s going to be discussed here outside of the group, but you can’t attribute it to a particular person. This sets the stage for a safe space, where everyone can open more and talk freely.

We were a total of 12 people (with 4 who attended the 1st meetup as well). So this is how we do it: The discussion starts with a quick introduction of how a normal day in everyone’s lives looks like. And then the moderator navigates through various topics. Here is an anonymized summary:

  • There’s a false notion in our minds - we tend to see people working hard as a positive thing.
  • We keep taking responsibilities nobody asked us to pick. Don’t expose extra work on yourself.
  • Taking leaves is very important.
  • There was a suggestion to mute all notifications from your phone. One person took it to the next level by keeping two phones: one with only WhatsApp / LinkedIn on it and the other is a social media phone, which is meant to be used only at a set time (say 1 hour at night).
  • It’s difficult to turn off your mind, especially if you’re passionate about your work. You don’t have boundaries and work starts seeping into your personal time. You’re off-work but your mind is still thinking about it. To combat this, try writing what you did and tomorrow’s TODOs at the end of your day.
  • If you’re watching too much content, keep a media log to note down whatever you are consuming. Looking at it after a week can help you realize if that’s the way you want to spend time.
  • If you’re getting burnt out, start working on yourself (do some online courses, start working out, etc.).
  • Prefer consistency over short-bursts. Someone read 25+ books last year by reading 30 minutes every day.
  • Identify the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important. Try to picture what happens if you don’t do a particular task? If the answer is not significant, then probably you can avoid it.
  • Sleep is important. If you think like this - that if you sleep 1 hour less everyday and you get 365 more hours in a year, it’s not good for your body in the long run. Avoid compromising on sleep at all costs!
  • Remove dependencies on a single person. One good way is to enforce a rule that a person has to take a leave for 2 straight weeks every 6 months (after notifying in advance, ofcourse). This helps the company as well (to prepare for your absence).
  • We don’t handle feedback well. But the thing to realize is that, negative feedback will be given by someone who cares. Treasure them. If you don’t respond properly, they might stop giving it effectively stopping your growth. Not taking feedback personally is a superpower. Ask your peers what are you doing well and where can you improve? It’s hard for people to give feedback as well. Thank them! Read the first link at the end for a detailed post on feedback.
  • Contractors don’t get all benefits of full-time employees. It’s different from consultants. Read the offer letter carefully.
  • Someone had a #shoutouts channel on their Slack group, which people used to show appreciation to others. Everyone should have some version of this in place.

We wrapped up the meetup after 2 hours of talking. Hasura had arranged for some snacks and folks divided into groups for a casual chat. This was unmoderated. I overheard different topics ranging from “I don’t have impact!” to “How do I make more friends?” to “indie-hacking”.

When I left (3 hours after the meetup officially ended!), more than half the crowd was still there (some chatting, some snackin’, some playing Table Tennis). This was definitely unexpected!

P.S. If you’d like to volunteer for jotting down notes during the upcoming meetup(s) and / or writing the next blog post, DM me on Telegram.
P.P.S. There’s a lot of stuff planned for 2020. For updates, follow The DX Club on Twitter!

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